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NY Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, elected in the 2010 GOP wave with strong tea party support, does not like Gov. Cuomo's new gun safety law one bit.

McLaughlin, who represents most of Rensselaer and part of Washington and Columbia counties (east of Albany), knows a rabble-rousing issue when he sees one. He spoke at the gun rights rally outside the Capitol last month, at the state Conservative Party confab two weeks ago, and has been all over local talk radio lately.

This morning, he joined other GOP Assemblymembers at a press conference to decry Cuomo's use of a message of necessity (an executive power that requires an essentially immediate vote on a bill) for the NY SAFE Act.

McLaughlin called that dictatorial, and when questioned about "dictatorial," went Godwin-plus:

A few hours later, he apologized.

He must have thought he was at a tea party/gun nut/GOP base gathering with no cameras or reporters allowed.

More, below.

For those who can't see the video, here's what McLaughlin said about Cuomo:

When you throw a bill at us in 20 minutes, and the Senate had for 20 minutes, we couldn't get the bill printed.

We had been there since 9 a.m., it's now 11 at night and we're told basically to shut up and vote, and that's what this is all about. Just don't question it, just vote. That's basically the message here.

If that's not dictatorial, I don't know what is.

Hitler would be proud, Mussolini would be proud of what we did here, Moscow would be proud, but that's not democracy.

So I don't even know how you question whether that's not dictatorial or not, that's absolutely dictatorial -- to send a message down and the only thing necessary was to ram it through so that the people of New York didn't get a chance to see it.

A Capitol reporter offered McLaughlin a chance to pull his foot out of his mouth, but he doubled down with Putin:
R: What about your comments referring to the governor as Hitler and Mussolini, do you feel that's an appropriate thing to say?

M: I said it was Mussolini-like. I said they'd be proud of what went on.

R: They'd be proud of what he did.

M: Yeah.

R: Hitler would be proud, that a message of necessity ...

M: He's acting like a dictator in my opinion.

R: You feel that's an appropriate thing to say about the governor?

M: I just said it.

R: How is that Hitler-like?

M: How does Putin act over in Russia? Same thing, dictate to the Legislature what they're gonna do, they're rubber-stamping it.

I'm not calling the governor a dictator. I'm saying that this was a dictatorial thing to do.

About four hours later, McLaughlin did a mea maxima culpa:
“I’m very, very, sorry about that,” McLaughlin, R-Schaghticoke, said in a video statement. “I apologize to the governor and to all of you for doing that. It was the wrong analogy to make.”

McLaughlin said his statement was made “in the heat of the moment” and was an “honest mistake.”

McLaughlin's major mistake was forgetting who the audience was.

Had he gone Godwin-plus at the gun rally, he would have been applauded, guaranteed. The dozens of attendees wearing yellow stars at the rally would have cheered the loudest.

But the far-right Republican base is not the audience of a Tuesday morning press conference in the Capitol -- the only people there besides the pols and their staffers are the press.

Their ears perk up when they hear "dictatorial" and "Hitler," and they ask basic follow-up questions.

Which helped McLaughlin did the hole deeper.

To judge by local talk radio, McLaughlin's apology was a mistake.

Afternoon WGDJ-AM host Melody Burns (who emceed the gun rally) said he had "shot himself in the foot," because as everyone who listens to wingnut radio knows Cuomo is a king, dictator, Hitler, etc. All her few daily callers agreed.

Once upon a time, the tea party was all about fiscal prudence and small government.

But, in our non-fairy-tale world, tea party types are far-right Republicans who angrily support almost everything on the far-right Republican agenda -- opposing marriage equality, reproductive rights, gun safety, Agenda 21, the New World Order, Obama/Hitler/Stalin, ad nauseam.

McLaughlin is a tea party political rookie who barely won re-election last year, thanks to some six figures of support from state Republican committees (a couple three mailings a week for two months).

After what he did today, he'll need that and more to survive next year.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was happy to see the pushback by the reporter, (19+ / 0-)

    and the refusal to get involved on the part of the other politician.  And the politician lady in red looked massively uncomfortable.  

    I agree with your assessment, if this had been a Tea rally he would have been cheered.  Now he'll be primaried by Tea Party on the right, and Karl Rove on the left.

    I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning.

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:10:51 PM PST

  •  Lesson: don't shoot yourself in the foot (8+ / 0-)

    when your foot is in your mouth.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:41:00 PM PST

  •  'The Stupid Party' (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, alba, aitchdee, a2nite, devtob

    The only thing I'll ever agree with Bobby Jindal on.

    "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:45:30 PM PST

  •  He had a good point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theotherside, devtob

    And totally botched it by the inane comparisons. I totally agree bills shouldn't be voted on without proper deliberation. Doesn't mean we're in a new Nazi Germany.

    by DAISHI on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:45:35 PM PST

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He went too far in his comparisons but the "real" story, IMO, is that only allowing 20 minutes to read a bill should not be allowed in a modern republic.

      I'm not claiming corruption on this particular bill but the lack of transparency and the likelihood of last minute backroom deals by political leaders is all the more likely to result in corrupt legislation and it is a practice that should not be tolerated at any level of government.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:31:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The GOP does it every chance they get; (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They can't take a dose of their own medicine?

  •  You know that money he got for the mailings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, devtob

    It's not going to be there (or if it is it will be much less) in 2014.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:46:08 PM PST

  •  Typical Rookie FOX News Watcher Politician.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, devtob

    McLaughlin forgot where he was.  He actually believes the dribble he hears on FOX News.  They start the ball rolling w/ talk about the Constitution being trampled on, w/ gun rights being taken away, odious comparisons & treasonous claims about the President.

    Then McLaughlin lets loose.  He starts babbling, & then it's .....oops, did I say that?

  •  first off, who dressed this bozo? pink satin tie, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, devtob

    on light pink shirt? geez! he could've gotten away with the tie, if the shirt was white or light blue. being an ideological moron doesn't also require that you have bad taste in clothing, does it? surely, a member of his staff, or his wife, or somebody (a secret gay friend?) could have latched onto him, and partly re-dressed him, so he didn't look like a 16 year-old, going to his high school fall sports banquet. at least, he had the top shirt button buttoned. yeah, i know, the tie is a geometric print, but still..........................

    if you're going to be an ideological cretin, in public, at least look like you should be allowed out of the house by yourself. btw, last time i checked, dictators don't bother asking legislative bodies to pass laws, pretty please, they just tell them what to do, and kill them if they don't. it's one of the basic differences, between a representative democracy, and an actual dictatorship. i seem to recall that being mentioned, in high school civics.

  •  Most of the nasty things these (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, Andrew C White

    teabaggers say here in NY don't get publicized and the general public knows nothing about them.  This was unusual and I'm glad to see it making news.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:23:11 AM PST

  •  Godwin must be rolling over in his grave (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, a2nite

    considering how misused and misapplied his law has become!

  •  Not just Yellow Stars, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but Triangle badgess of various colors to mark your "offense" to Hitler:
    via wikipedia:

    Single triangles
    Red triangle—political prisoners: liberals, communists, trade unionists, social democrats, socialists, Freemasons, and anarchists.
    Green triangle— "professional criminals" (convicts, often Kapos).
    Blue triangle—foreign forced laborers, emigrants.
    Purple triangle—Bible Students, a term taken from a name of, and primarily referring to, Jehovah's Witnesses, though a very small number of pacifists and members of other religious organizations were also imprisoned under this classification
    Pink triangle—sexual offenders, mostly homosexual men but rarely rapists, zoophiles and paedophiles.[2]
    Black triangle—people who were deemed "asocial elements" and "work shy" including
    Roma (Gypsies), who were later assigned a brown triangle
    The mentally ill
    Vagrants and beggars
    Conscription resisters
    Some anarchists
    Drug addicts
    Brown triangle—Roma (Gypsies) (previously wore the black triangle).[5]
    Uninverted red triangle—an enemy POW, spy or a deserter.
    People who wore the green and pink triangles were convicted in criminal courts and may have been transferred to the criminal prison systems after the camps were liberated.

    Double triangles
    Disabled Jews with a black triangle on a yellow – "asocial Jews". Buchenwald, 1938.
    Double-triangle badges resembled two superimposed triangles forming a Star of David, a Jewish symbol.
    Two superimposed yellow triangles, the "Yellow badge"—a Jew
    Red inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish political prisoner
    Green inverted triangle upon a yellow one—a Jewish "habitual criminal"
    Purple inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jehovah's Witness of Jewish descent[6]
    Pink inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish "sexual offender"
    Black inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—"asocial" and "work shy" Jews
    Voided black inverted triangle superimposed over a yellow triangle—a Jew convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a "race defiler"
    Yellow inverted triangle superimposed over a black triangle—an Aryan (woman) convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a "race defiler"
    Like those who wore pink and green triangles, people in the bottom two categories would have been convicted in criminal courts.

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:11:50 AM PST

  •  oops (0+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:24:36 PM PST

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